US: In order to comply with the steady increase in demand for airborne remote sensing of pollution, Fototerra and Aerodata/Optimare have established a joint venture to provide airborne maritime pollution surveillance services for the private sector and governmental agencies.
After nearly three years of development, Fototerra’s first maritime surveillance aircraft, POSEIDON, has been released for service. POSEIDON is based in Houston, TX and available to provide environmental surveillance flights on a 24/7 basis. With a cruising speed of 180 knots and a mission time of 5 hours, POSEIDON is able to cover up to 7,500 square nautical miles per hour and relocate anywhere in the United States in less than 8 hours.
POSEIDON represents the most complete solution for aerial remote sensing of oil spills and other pollutants. The system includes: Side Looking Airborne Radar, Infrared/Ultraviolet Line Scanner, Visual Line Scanner, Microwave Radiometer, Laser Fluorosensor, Electro Optical Infrared System, Direction Finder.
The Mission Control Unit for real time in-flight data processing and analysis features a sophisticated communication package consisting of a Maritime Broadband Radio for high-capacity data network connections with any emergency situation center, and a satellite based data link. This comprehensive data processing and communication suite allows POSEIDON to be an integral part of any network of assets involved in oil spill recovery operations. POSEIDON is able to deliver essential information such as:
- Aerial extent of the spill;
- Film thickness distribution and calculation of the oil volume;
- Identification of the oil type and weathering information;
- Center coordinates of the oil spill or patches of oil;
- Localization of hotspots, in which the bulk of the oil is concentrated, essential to optimizing recovery operations.
POSEIDON’s first mission has been an intensive test campaign at the BSEE Ohmsett facility. Following the test campaign, the platform has been deployed in the Gulf of Mexico and is being evaluated by the major industry players and governmental agencies.